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Home » » West Papua’s deadly gold rush

West Papua’s deadly gold rush

Written By Voice Of Baptist Papua on May 25, 2012 | 1:38 AM

Operasi Brimob di papua ( foto dok)
 All of a sudden the Wolani People of West Papua are on the map. Their remote landscape is rich in gold deposits and a new gold rush is now on in West Papua’s highlands. Tragically, it’s killing local people.

Outsiders are threatening the lives and the welfare of indigenous people. Their illegal activities are being backed up by security forces. Locals who resist this intrusion are seen as trouble makers or are even stigmatised a separatists. Actions by security personal towards indigenous communities are often brutal.

In another incident on 15th May, five young Papuan men were shot by Police Mobile Brigade (BRIMOB) in Degewo, Paniai District. The tribal leader, Melkianus Kegepe was killed while four others in the conflict were injured in Lokasi Emas 45 after a dispute between the men and the management over a billiard game. Claims that the men were drunk and dangerous have been denied by the victims

The police were called and they confronted the men. According to a report compiled by a local human rights worker and submitted by the Institute for Papuan Advocacy and Human Rights, the police commander entered the building, pulled his pistol and shot dead Melkianus at the scene. Yulianus Wagepa was shot in the back, Selpius Kegepe was wounded in his arm, chest and hip, Lukas Tobeta was wounded in the stomach and Amos Kegepe was wounded in the leg.   
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